In this ActiveCampaign review, we look at this email marketing software that has served hundreds of thousands of businesses since 2003. Recommended by users across the whole business spectrum- from bloggers to authoritative figures in the digital marketing industry- this ActiveCampaign review takes an in-depth look at all things ActiveCampaign.
It is a great email marketing tool for both B2B and B2C audiences as it allows you to manage both personal and business accounts.
With its unrivalled automation features, ActiveCampaign allows for integrations with over 250 other applications. It is just the perfect email marketing tool for small businesses.
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ActiveCampaign goes beyond the basic functions of creating and managing emails, running, and assessing marketing campaigns, monitoring, and engaging your website visitors.
It is a full house sales management, CRM, and lead management software that helps you stay in touch with your clients.
ActiveCampaign is an automations software backed by solid artificial intelligence to enable its users achieve more while working less.
ActiveCampaign is the biggest email marketing platforms in the market today- and is used by entrepreneurs and marketing teams globally.
This tool comprises of four major parts:
- Automation of markets
- Email marketing
- Customer messaging
- Sales CRM
Automation is the heart of ActiveCampaign and this is the reason its userbase loves this email marketing tool.
ActiveCampaign uses a visual workflow builder to create your campaigns. While basic campaigns are easy to create it is the complex automations that allows you to see the power of ActiveCampaign visual workflow builder.
You can implement the complex automations with conditional logic that branches out into different segments of your contact list. These are referred to as actions and you have plenty to choose from and use.
Combining the actions with intelligent tagging and site tracking, opens almost infinite possibilities that you can explore with marketing automation.
ActiveCampaign has two way of running split test campaigns.
The first way is the traditional approach where you select the split testing option while setting up a new campaign.
As you set up your new campaign, you will be asked of the type of split test that you wish to deploy.
You will therefore have to fill two subject lines, rather than one. In the end, you will have two separate email templates to work with.
The traditional split testing option is great as you can test as multiple variables. ActiveCampaign will divide your list so that you can see which one performs the best.
The great thing about the traditional approach is that you can choose a winner, either when the campaign is in progress or after it ends.
ActiveCampaign gives you autonomy over how your split test should run and the ratio to use for determining a winner.
This feature is could add hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in revenue if used the right way.
The second method you can use to run a/b tests is by split-testing an entire automation workflow.
All you do is add a “split” action at the beginning of your automation. You will then choose how you will split your contacts, as well as set for the determination of a winner if you want to.
This method is great as there is no limit to the conditions you set for these tests. That way you can base a winning campaign on as many criteria as you want to test.
Like other email marketing software out there, ActiveCampaign has its own form builder app.
However, unless you are on the professional and enterprise plans, the forms you build will only be “inline”.
Anyway, except for that bummer, the form builder is straightforward, although the flexibility for design is pretty much wanting.
However, they have a CSS editor to redeem for the basic design. That will only be helpful if you are good with CSS.
Once you are done creating your form, here are some of the ways you can implement it.
- Facebook: You can add the form to your Facebook Page
- WordPress: You can install a plugin to enable you to easily display the form on your WordPress
- Link: You also get a direct link to the form and it is hosted by ActiveCampaign
- Embed: You can copy and paste the code of the form on to your page
Integrations are a strong suit for ActiveCampaign, a longstanding and well-established email marketing tool in the world. ActiveCampaign boast of a long library of integrations that you can make use of.
As of now, there are over 300 integrations that you can do on ActiveCampaign. For all the integrations you can perform, ActiveCampaign provides a clear documentation and breakdown of how every integration works.
The closest competitor to ActiveCampaign, Drip, only supports a fraction of the integrations that ActiveCampaign offers.
If you can find an integration that you need, ActiveCampaign integrates with Zapier. And Zapier is the integrations powerhouse.
ActiveCampaign Review: Tracking and Reporting
All email marketing software allow for tracking in a similar way; you configure the tracking options before sending your campaigns.
However, ActiveCampaign goes beyond tracking opens and links.
It also allows for “reply tracking,” which allows you to send automations based on replies. It also allows for Google Analytics, which gives detailed campaign insights.
1. Site Tracking
ActiveCampaign enables you to connect to your contact’s behavior through site tracking. With site tracking, you can respond to how they interact with your website and tweak your marketing to serve their interests better.
The feature allows the attachment of a page view history to your contacts’ records. That way, you get to know how your contacts interact with your web pages.
The data is important as it enables powerful segmentation so that you can alter your marketing strategy and improve your conversions.
2. Event Tracking
Event tracking allows ActiveCampaign to pick up actions that your contacts take. This enriches your ability to provide highly personalized marketing to your users based on how they interact with your events.
3. Advanced Lead Scoring
Another great feature you will find useful in your email marketing strategy is the advanced lead scoring feature that this email automation tool offers.
You can have as many (unlimited) lead scores as you need, with unlimited rules. With any criteria that is important for your revenue generation process, advanced lead scoring allows you to prioritize and manage your leads as you wish.
Lead scoring is a perfect way of starting your automations and it helps in distributing leads easily along your sales processes.
4. Email Templates
ActiveCampaign offers email templates of different types and industries. This is one of the areas that this email marketing software falls behind, as it only has about 30 templates. Other email marketing tools such as Mailchimp offer way more templates than ActiveCampaign offers.
The design of the templates also feels cheap compared to templates that other companies offer.
Of course, you can always design an email template from scratch and most people prefer to create email templates from scratch. They have a great email builder that I would place on top of what you would find on other email marketing tools.
The email builder feels as good as the form editor, but there are more design options such as elements and design flexibility.
On the email builder, you can also use conditional block that show email content on specifics criteria that you set. You can enable the conditional blocks using the little cog icon next to any block.
Conditional blocks are a powerful resource as they help you in adapting your email content to your subscribers using the tags that you use to identify their interests.
What Makes ActiveCampaign Worth Buying?
AC stands out when you compare its features to its rivals. It is evident that with the evolving world, you need to track your source of income. This is only possible with an efficient software like AC.
If you want a tool that provides better delivery and high engagement with your emails- ActiveCampaign does it.
With incredible intelligence-backed automation, each of your contacts can receive personalized content that interests them.
Deliverability of your emails is based on segmentation, lead scoring, and feedback. These metrics are indicative of your contacts’ behavior while interacting with your webpages/ content obtained through site/ event tracking.
Who Is ActiveCampaign for?
With all the features and functions covered in full- the next question is: “Should you buy ActiveCampaign?”
Just like any other tool, ActiveCampaign is not a one-size-fits-all type of tool. This email marketing tool is for the following people:
If you want to launch your email marketing strategy on a budget as a blogger, this tool will be a perfect weapon for your blogging business.
While it is not as cheap as others such as MailChimp, you get the best bang for your buck with ActiveCampaign. Tons of features, wicked integrations, and next-level automation.
High Level Marketers
Not only is ActiveCampaign the most capable automations tool, it often outperforms even the most expensive tools in the market.
Drip, which is a popular alternative to ActiveCampaign may be a ton faster, but it also costs 50% more than ActiveCampaign for the same specs and functions.
Active campaign is available in four plans. The pricing of each plan is based on the features and services rendered. Lite plan is the cheapest plan in this category.
The free 14-day trial offered by Ac should equip you with enough reasons to make a subscription decision. You will be entitled to a discount on each plan if you subscribe annually. The plans cater for up to 100,000 contacts. In case your contacts exceed that number, a customized plan will be made for you.
Pros and Cons of Using ActiveCampaign
- Training and follow up support
Once you subscribe to an ActiveCampaign plan, training is availed through their online certified agents that help you set up your account.
In case of technical difficulties or bugs, there are many available agents on their helpline that are ready to serve you. They offer you support through detailed templates and guides, emails, tickets, training webinars, scheduled calls and even in-person support available to Chicago dwellers.
- Free migration services
Not only is it work to migrate your assets from one email marketing tool to another, but it is also technical. ActiveCampaign is good at helping you to move in with them.
They help you move your data from other software to ActiveCampaign, and this is a free complimentary service, on the house.
- No Credit Card Required
If you want to try out the ActiveCampaign free trial, you will enjoy knowing that Active campaign does not request for any card during the free trial. You will not have to feel unsafe if the trial period ends while you are out fishing.
- Email Grading
Active campaign reduces the probability of your emails landing in the spam box through grading.
Contacts on this software are grouped according to their actions on your site, age, and even location.
This helps to select which email campaign suits a specific group. For instance, if you have a campaign that targets content creators, you will simply know exactly who your potential clients are by analyzing their behavior on your site.
- Great User Experience
The ActiveCampaign dashboard may be quite intimidating and new users may feel overwhelmed especially in creating email templates. However, from automations to creating forms and emails, ActiveCampaign has easy to use drag-and-drop form and email builders.
- Does not offer landing pages
Landing pages increase funnel conversions and are useful in expanding contact lists. You can also use a landing page for statistics.
Without a landing page, your website visitors might not be convinced enough to become your future customers.
The reason; you lack sufficient information about your product on that website. AC requires landing pages. This software is not for you if a landing page is your top priority.
- Slow interface
A wide variety of features on this software makes it hard to beat. However, these features make transitioning from a section to another extremely slow. Moving components take ages.
Sometimes it takes you over 15 seconds waiting for the interface to load. This is a major drawback if you are a busy individual.
- Costly CRM
The cheaper plan (Lite) of ActiveCampaign costs slightly below $20/month. For a sales automation tool, this sounds extremely affordable. Unfortunately, this plan does not have an inbuilt CRM. You have to upgrade to the other expensive plans to access it. You will have to dig deeper into your pockets to access this feature.
- Navigational search Unavailable
When using this email software, you may have a hard time knowing how to access its many features. Sadly, AC has no keyword search feature that allows you to locate components and functions. You will just have to jump around the whole thing till you find what you are searching for. This is very tiring and time consuming.
- Crowded Reporting
ActiveCampaign does a lot of reporting in all the tasks assigned to it. These reports are very helpful especially when you are comparing variants. You get to know what is working and what doesn’t. However, with many campaigns, the reports become overcrowded. It’s hard to find a report. Navigating around it will consume much of your time and you will end up tired.
- No Phone Support
While ActiveCampaign does offer help, they only do it online. This is a bummer when you need a quick fix for a problem you may be having just before a launch.
At the time of writing this, they only offer help through live chat or email. These methods are subtle, but they are time-consuming.
The urgency of your problem might require immediate attention. A phone call can fix the problem fast. Feedback is conveyed immediately. With email, you have to wait till it is read and replied, which takes forever.
- Too advanced for Beginners
If you are a beginner ActiveCampaign may not be a great start for you. Not only is it advanced, but it’s also cranky and the overpopulated dashboard may put you off.
However, ActiveCampaign covers this with a great community that will always help you find the solutions you need. adequate trainings to help you use the email marketing tool.
If you are a beginner in email marketing, read more about successful email marketing for beginners.
As an ActiveCampaign user for the last 2 years in running my own campaigns, as well as running an email marketing service, I feel confident in recommending ActiveCampaign as a great tool for you.
If you are looking for email marketing software that is RSS triggered, it can create newsletters, build email campaigns, send SMS, integrate smoothly with other apps, and much more- then its ActiveCampaign.
While other tools such as Drip may provide more speed and flexibility, or enjoy using free tools such as MailChimp, ActiveCampaign is the most solid of all. You are assured of consistency and the greatest value for your money with this tool.
That’s all from me and if you want to check out their free trial, get this free 14-day ActiveCampaign trial (no credit card required). I recommend it 100%.